Green Bay Packers: Special Teams Best and Worst Case Scenarios

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 29: Hunter Bradley #43 of the Green Bay Packers looks on against the Kansas City Chiefs during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 29, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 29: Hunter Bradley #43 of the Green Bay Packers looks on against the Kansas City Chiefs during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 29, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The best and worst-case scenarios for every player on the Green Bay Packers roster concludes today with the special teams guys.

Special teams is the forgotten phase in the game of football. It’s very different than the essence of football, which is all about eleven guys all working in unison trying to get their players to possess the ball in the end zone with their hands.

Special teams, on the other hand, uses their feet to kick the ball, which is frankly just not in the spirit of football at all. It’s not like it’s in the name or anything. However, the Green Bay Packers’ special teams players are football players in their own way.

Many people in football don’t really even consider punters, kickers, and long snappers to be football players at all, but instead, guys that wear pads, are on the team, and serve a completely different purpose.

This has changed some in recent years due to the “Punters are people too” and “For the Brand” movements headed by retired punter, Pat McAfee. He’s been fighting for recognition of the specialists for years, and today it’s time they get some recognition. And it can’t be an “every player on the roster” series without these guys that occupy three roster spots.

Mason Crosby – Kicker

Mason Crosby has been the Green Bay Packers kicker for a LONG time. In 2007, the year of his rookie season, the first iPhone came out. He’s been here so long his hair turned gray.

In Crosby’s thirteen seasons as the Packers kicker, he’s had his ups and downs. There was 2012 where his field goal percentage was 63.6 percent, and he almost got cut. But it turned out all he needed was some competition because in 2013 the Packers brought in Giorgio Tavecchio to challenge him and he responded by beating him out and having one of the best years of his career with an 89.2 field goal percentage.

His only season better than 2013 percentage-wise was 2019, as he seems to be an ageless wonder and getting better with each passing year. During his first seven seasons, which includes 2013, he had a 78.7 field goal percentage, and in his last six years, it’s been 84.2.

He was drafted two years after Aaron Rodgers, and he could probably play into his 40s like Rodgers has talked about doing. Fortunately for him, the Packers didn’t trade up to draft a kicker, so his spot seems safe for at least a few more years.

Best Case Stats: 92% field goal percentage, 100% extra point percentage, 70% touchbacks on kickoffs

Worst Case Stats: 73% field goal percentage, 88% extra point percentage, 45% touchbacks on kickoffs

J.K. Scott

The Packers spent a fifth-round pick on Scott in 2018, which is quite high for a punter, and sometimes it looks like a genius move, and sometimes it looks like a real head-scratcher. Here’s one of the times it looked genius:

His leg is completely vertical as he unleashes a 63-yard bomb that flipped the field and pinned the Bears deep in their own territory. For weeks afterward, I was always genuinely excited to watch him punt the football.

My excitement then faded when he started to shank some punts or give up big returns and actually finished close to the bottom of the league in gross and net yards per punt. But somehow, he was still named second-team All-Pro by Pro Football Focus. This season, he’ll hopefully have even more big punts, better hangtime to limit return yards, and keep it consistent.

Best Case Stats: 47 gross yards per punt, 43 net yards per punt, 70 yard longest punt

Worst Case Stats: 43 gross yards per punt, 37 net yards per punt, 62 yard longest punt

Hunter Bradley

Alright people, hold onto your hats because it’s time to talk about the long snapper. Look, Hunter Bradley will never be the beloved fan-favorite that Brett Goode was, who spent 10 years with the Green Bay Packers. I know we all have that Goode jersey hanging in our closet, and we miss him, but it’s a new era in Packers’ long snapping.

Bradley won’t ever be him, but the Packers spent a draft pick on him in 2018, so he has to be pretty good, right? Well, he hasn’t messed up yet in two years, and that’s really the true measure of a long snapper. But the moment they do mess up, that’s usually the end of their time at that job.

Good snapping isn’t just not making it uncatchable for the punter or holder, it’s also placing it well enough that it’s in a good position to kick. There’s a possibility that Bradley’s snapping had something to do with Crosby’s career-high field goal percentage in 2019.

Best Case Stats: 0 Botched Snaps, 136 high fives, 1 random Lambeau Leap

Worst Case Stats: 1 Botched Snap, 49 high fives, 1 meeting with team management about spot on the roster

Next. Packers Take WR in McShay's 'Way Too Early' Mock. dark

What do you think of the Packers special teams unit, and how long have you had that Brett Goode jersey in your closet? Let me know in the comments below or @DairylandXpress. Previous best and worst-case scenario articles are below if you missed them.


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